Naturalistische Metaphysik und Pädagogik John Deweys : bildungstheoretische Betrachtung über eine ontologische Kontinuität zwischen Erfahrung und Natur aus organisch-holistischer Perspektive

Choi, Hoon

In 1.1, I illustrated the historical background of the philosophical debate on experience. For this, I first analyzed the theoretical assumption underlying the traditional concept of experience. By making a scrutiny into the difference between the representation and the object represented, I showed that the metaphysical and epistemological dualisms lay the foundations of the traditional concept of experience. I then discussed the several difficult philosophical problems that result from the two dualisms. Through this discussion, I highlighted the controversial points concerning the traditional concept of experience. In 1.2, I showed how the experience is to be grasped conceptually from Dewey’s philosophical perspective. For this, I first discussed the atomistic world view deeply rooted in the traditional concept of experience and then opposed Dewey’s organic-holistic approach to it. In order to point up that experience must be understood in the sense of an organic movement and wholeness, I explained Dewey’s organic-holistic approach by his two principles, the sensory-motor coordination and the interaction between man and his environment. I then demonstrated that the regularity of experience is derived from the experience itself and that it is laid in Dewey’s redefinition of need, habit, emotion, mind, and consciousness as well as the functional relation between these psychological notions. In 2.1, I provided the theoretical foundation for further developing Dewey’s epistemological reconstruction of experience to the ontological discussion on reality. For this, I used Dewey’s distinction between two modes of experience as the methodical starting point. On the basis of this distinction, I analyzed systematically the concept of quality which has the central place in Dewey’s metaphysics. This analysis elucidated the difference between the immediate being and the mediating function, which decides the logical status of the data. The distinction between existence and function developed into the discussion about the instrumental meaning and its practical validity. Thereby experience was functionally described in the sense of the construction of meaning and the transformation of action. In 2.2, I showed that experience is ontologically consistent with the nature. For this, I first explained the concept of reality by the examples cited by Dewey. In order to point up Dewey’s assertion that reality appears as the qualitative existence which is had (or experienced) immediately and concretely in every present, I examined the controversy between Dewey and his contemporary realists. Through this examination, it was made clear whether reality is to be regarded as the object of knowledge and whether it is possible to know the past for its own sake. Subsequently, I dealt with Dewey’s critique of philosophical fallacy which equates the object of knowledge with the existential reality and then showed how this fallacy can be successfully overcome from Dewey’s philosophical perspective. Considering the fact that man is involved through his experience in the process in which reality appears as a qualitative natural event, I reconstructed metaphysically the Real, i.e. the qualities, in terms of Dewey against the backdrop of the controversy over the universals and then replaced the concept of reality which takes its valid place in the traditional metaphysics by the concept of nature. On the basis of the reconstruction of reality, I also discussed the possibility of the full fulfillment of meaning in the sense of the consummatory experience. Based on the philosophically elaborated concepts of experience and nature, I clarified Dewey’s naturalistic approach to the education in 3.1. By analyzing the theoretical contrast between traditional and progressive education, I first made the interaction between children and their social environment the focal point of the discussion on the education. With emphasis on the social environment of the children which gives a reason for the fact that the education takes place always indirectly, I discussed the necessity of the reconstruction of the school environment. This discussion led to the consideration of both the implications of the problem-centered educational approach and the development of a teaching-learning method to be used to deal with the subject matters found from the viewpoint of the interaction between the children and their school environment. Subsequently, I examined the possibility how to apply the metaphysical theory developed by the later Dewey to the education. For this purpose, I subjected the school lessons to an aesthetic analysis. And through this analysis, I showed that the school lessons must be regarded as the reconciliation process between teaching and learning, in which a increasing understanding of what is good in the particular case is achieved, and that what is common to the expressions constitutive of the educational communication in the school lessons consists in the renewed instrumentality for further consummatory experiences. In 3.2, I showed how Dewey’s naturalism can be apprehended in terms of theory of Bildung. For this, I first made clear two important conditions under which Dewey’s naturalism can be meaningfully dealt with in terms of theory of Bildung. Under these conditions, I systematically examined German discussion on the concept of Bildung and ascertained that the human relation to the whole, which is underlying the concept of Bildung, is fundamental to Dewey’s naturalism. In the two following sub-chapters, I analyzed in more detail how the discussion on experience can develop into a more exact definition of the concept of Bildung and how the permanent growth of the life can be accentuated in the connection with the whole. From this analysis, I concluded that the ideal of human perfection is concretely realized through the democratic way of life and that the process of the formation of the Self is intensively expressed in Dewey’s concept of the growth of nature as a whole. The result of my investigation is as follows: Man is essentially in and with nature which is defined as the ontological continuity. All Existence has its ground in the interaction between man and his environment, which Dewey calls experience. Due to the permanent participation of the human being in the experiential events, the ontological totality is understood as processual rather than as static. The ontological process presents itself as the perpetual circulation between the immediate and the mediated experience. Human life manifests itself in this circulation. The pedagogical considerations that are taken into account mainly with regard to the further growth of the life must therefore focus on the qualitative improvement of the experiential events, which is resulting from the circulation between two modes of experience. Through the qualitative improvement of the experiential events, the ontological process is more and more expanded and differentiated. On this account, the naturalistic metaphysics is included in the pedagogical considerations. Depending on the degree and extent to which the qualitative improvement of the experiential events influences the extension and differentiation of the ontological process, the pedagogical considerations take shape in two different points of view: Education and Bildung.

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Choi, Hoon: Naturalistische Metaphysik und Pädagogik John Deweys. bildungstheoretische Betrachtung über eine ontologische Kontinuität zwischen Erfahrung und Natur aus organisch-holistischer Perspektive. 2017.

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